One day discussion on Oil Exploration was jointly organized by Forest, Natural Resources Management and Development Council (NRMDC Chandel), Anal Sinnu Ruwal Manipur (ASRM), Anal Naga Tangli Manipur (ANTM), Chakpi River Protection and Development (CRPD), People’s Development Organisation (Chandel PDO) and Farmers Development Society (FDS Chandel).
In the said discussion KL. Wellee Anal (General Secretary FDS), L. Kanlun Anal (President PDO), Bd. Betha Anal (Vice President CRPD), PS. Isrial Anal (General Secretary ANTM), NL. Jonhlung Anal (President ASRM) and PS. Ngamnung Anal (President NRMDC) were the presidium members.
PS. Ngamnung Anal (President NRMDC) shared his view on how the developmental projects like Dams, Oil Exploration, etc, will destroy the agricultural land which belongs to the indigenous people of Manipur. More than 85 thousands hectares of paddy field have been made submerged by the Loktak Hydro Power Project in the name of Development and Employment to the people, but after the commissioned of the Project not a single person whose land have been submerged by this project have achieved job in the project sectors. The people should be aware of the false truth being spread out by the outside companies whose job is just to earn profit by suppressing the indigenous people of our land. Therefore, people living in Chandel will support to stop the Exploration in Manipur.
Bd. Betha Anal (Vice President CRPD) highlighted that there is no proper drinking water facility, roads, hospitals, higher level schools, etc in Chandel District, in the name of constructing the same many companies have approached with a false promise to the people living in Chandel that there will be proper drinking water facility, Schools, Hospitals, Roads, Jobs etc, it could be learned during the proposed Chakpi Multipurpose Project. Now again the Asian Oilfield Service Ltd has approached the Villagers of the Khaidem Village with a false promise of Assuring Job, Cheaper Fuel Price, Economy Growth in the state, etc, but people should not forget that the land belong to us and we have the rights over our land and not the Oil Companies, the companies should not violate the UN Declaration on Rights of the Indigenous People and must go back immediately from Manipur.
NL. Jonhlung Anal (President ASRM) shared that there are many helicopter and drone flying at night in the area of Chandel, the people fear that there is an Aerial Survey being carried out the Beel Industries trying to detect the minerals through some powerful ray as it could be observe by the people of Tamenglong and Jiribam. It is very confusing whether the government is here to protect its people or are they after the minerals which belongs to the people of Manipur. There is a fear of polluting the rivers by the drilling processes of Oil and the people will be compelled to shift from their inhabited land in search of safer place. Therefore, the people of Manipur should stand together to protect our natural resources from being taken out by the companies and the government of India, and the resources must be control by the people not the companies.
L. Kanlun Anal (President PDO) and KL. Wellee Anal (General Secretary FDS) have also shared their views supporting the statements made by the above speakers and have opposed the steps taken up by the Oil Companies and the Government of India controlling the natural resources. They have highlighted that the Oil Acts which have been passed by the GOI is now in need of Amendment by complying all the international standards, norms and covenants, etc.
Resolution of the Meeting:
1. The Oil Companies and the Government of India must learn to respect the rights of the Indigenous People.
2. The Oil Companies should immediately stop the false truth being spread around the innocent villagers
3. To Stop the oil Exploration in Manipur permanently.
This Press Release was sent by Ngamnung Anal, who is the president of NRMDC, and can be contacted at forum(dot)hurmanrights(at)gmail(dot)com